Am I done having babies?

I always wanted to be a youngish mum. I was lucky that I met Carl when I was young, we got together when I was 19 and were married just before my 23rd birthday. 18 months later, Mabel was born. For some reason I have always said that I wanted to have my first baby before I turned 25 and I wanted to be finished having babies by the time I was 30. I don’t know why really, 30 just felt like a good cut off point to say right that’s enough now, let’s move on to the next stage of life. So I had Mabel when I was 24, a second baby was always the plan, so Greta was born 20 months later when I was 26 and although a third baby was most likely always going to happen, Ernie came along a bit quicker than we’d planned when I was 28.

So here I am now, 28 years old and fast approaching 29, with three children under five. Three children that I love with all my heart and make me so incredibly happy, but three children that cause me endless amounts of stress and worry, three children that occupy my every waking minute and three children that give me many sleepless nights. So why do I sometimes wonder if I can squeeze another one in before I turn 30?

I want another baby, I think I’ll always want another baby. I don’t know if the feeling of wanting to have more babies will ever leave me. Will I always get this slight pang of jealousy when someone announces their pregnancy or that their baby has arrived safely into this world? Will I always wonder what my youngest would be like as a big brother, or fantasise about what I would call a fourth child? (Pearl or Rupert incase you’re wondering). Is it something to do with my hormones? I’m not sure that it is to be honest, I think I’m just a baby person. I love babies, I’m good at babies. Babies need to be fed and cuddled and rocked and then fed some more and then cuddled some more…..and that is absolutely fine by me, I can do that easy.

But it’s not so easy to give a baby all of the attention that they need when you have other little people to worry about too. Suddenly there’s a whole lot more mess to clean up, mountains of clothes to wash and dry, meals that need to be cooked at certain times and some kind of entertainment that needs to be provided. If I was the sort of person who put their baby into a routine early on then it would probably be a lot easier, but I’m just not that mum, I’m firmly on the just go with it and ride it out side of the fence and I can’t see that changing.

When Mabel was born I was perfectly happy to give up everything, put my life completely on hold for 6 months or so, so that I could be everything she needed, 24/7. I was up all night with her so I slept when she slept, grabbed whatever food I could until Carl came home to cook for us and generally lived in leggings and sick stained t shirts with my hair shoved up on top of my head and only left the house when I wanted to. I didn’t mind, in fact I loved it, I’m just a baby person I guess. But I can’t put my life on hold for Ernie, it’s not only me I need to think about anymore.

No doubt that Babywearing helps me massively, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t pop Ernie up on my back for a little sleep. He’s happy and settled with his cheek pressed against my neck (dribbling down my back) and smelling my hair (it just smells like his own vomit but he seems to like it), and I can get on with a few jobs, play with the girls, give them cuddles, make some lunch. It’s a massive help, but I can’t do everything I need to with him up there and towards the end of a two hour nap I can definitely feel his weight on my shoulders.

There’s no getting around it, babies take up a lot of your time. And the thing is, as much as I love babies, I also love cooking a lovely meal for my family, sitting down to play a game with my 4 year old, and getting the paints out for my 2 year old. And it’s not that I can’t do all of those things with a baby in tow, I mean sometimes I can’t, but I will keep trying every day and sometimes we get it right, but it’s always a bit more stressful with a baby who could wake up any minute and want a feed, or go from happily playing to tired and screaming in the blink of an eye.

And maybe I don’t want my life to be stressful anymore, maybe I just want to enjoy my three children and cling on to the fact that things are only going to get easier every day from here on in. In the past, every time my baby has got to around the 1 year mark and things have started to get more manageable, I have got pregnant again and gone back to square one in a way. It’s like as soon as you’ve got the hang of juggling, someone chucks another ball at you. But I think maybe my limit is three balls.

Maybe I’ll never be ‘done’ with having babies, but is my family complete? I’m almost certain that three children is the number that we should stick at. Life feels like we are just teetering on the edge of manageable, and as much as I love the chaos and fun that comes with having a little tribe of children, the sight control freak side of me says ‘enough is enough’. Even so, I think whenever I see a family with four children I’ll always wonder, what if I had been braver?

bluebells

 

Join the fun

Dsc_9172

Get a weekly round-up and exclusive content from our home educating, slow living, everyday adventure seeking life...

Follow:
Share:

10 Comments

  1. May 2, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    Oh I could have written this!! In fact I’ve been mentally penning a similar post for a while now. It’s like the more life moves on, the futher it takes me from those baby days. I was not ‘prepared’ for our Ernie to be the final…. Final announcement, final pregnancy, final birth…. Final newborn squige…. But I’m 29 and life is ticking along so nicely, lots of excitement and things to look forward to…. Square one, and more mum guilt doesn’t appeal….
    But for the record…. RUPERT is a fab brother name for Ernest.

  2. May 2, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    What a lovely post Louise. I fell pregnant unexpectedly at 24 but it’s always nice to hear of people who actually planned to have kids younger – makes me feel less unusual as the only person I know with kids my age! We only have the one at the moment, but we’re starting to think about number 2 (at the time in life we thought we’d be starting to think about number one!) but, don’t tell anyone, I too feel a pang of jealousy when someone announces their pregnancy or the birth of number two or three… There’s a sentence I once never thought I’d say!

  3. May 2, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    That really is something only you can answer as well, as a family. I’ve always said I wanted two. Now R is turning 10 months, I’m sort of thinking, maybe one is enough! So complete opposite here! I love my baby but do I really want another!? Probably x

  4. May 3, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    What a lovely post! We have one; we’ve spoken about a second and I’ve always felt a teeny bit jealous when other parents I know announce that their second is on the way; on the other hand, it would be bad timing (worse timing because we’ve just found out my partner’s up for redundancy!) so… it’s odd, not quite knowing what sort of shape your family’s going to end up taking, isn’t it?
    Sarah Rooftops recently posted…One Incorrect Lesson I Learned as a ChildMy Profile

  5. May 5, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    I think you have to weigh up with what you want and what you can manage. I knew I wanted two and that is it. Don’t want anymore, not broody nothing. I am happy though I do struggle at times because I have additional needs. But that is my choice and you have choice to do what you want to do X #brilliantblogposts

  6. May 6, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    Aww beautiful children! We just have the one at the moment and the plan for us was that we would have 1 at least and be married by the time I’m 30. I’m 30 this year and we wont be married for another 2yrs however we have Mia and plan to have another once we get married. I admire you for managing 3 under 5yrs as Mia is a complete madam at 3yrs old and I honestly don’t think I could cope with another one!
    My mum always used to stay she stopped at 3 of us as when you have a fourth, you need a bigger car and ‘family passes’ don’t cover you all! But if you are in the position where you can and want another baby, go for it! I cant imagine every being ready to say ‘I’m done!’

    #brillblogposts
    becca farrelly recently posted…EM Fitness 12 Week Weight Loss PlanMy Profile

  7. May 8, 2016 / 1:31 am

    This was EXACTLY where I was at before I got pregnant with our Ernie. I just couldn’t make my mind up. My heart was screaming out for another baby, my head was telling me I was already overwhelmed, and I didn’t know which voice to listen to. In the end I consulted the husband, told him he HAD to tell me honestly, which he would choose if it were up to him, 3 or 4? And he said 4. So, our plan was to just “see what happens” for a couple of months. My girls have an age gap of 2 years and that works perfectly, but between #2 and #3 there was a gap of 3 years, which I found difficult. I didn’t want a gap that big, so we basically had a cut-off point, that if I wasn’t pregnant by the time the youngest was 18 months we would call it a day.
    Despite breastfeeding, I did get pregnant almost straight away. I struggled to cope while I was pregnant, it was very, very hard, and then Ernie was born and he was quite a miserable little sod to begin with, so that was hard too.
    But now the hardest parts are over. Ernie is almost one and life is settled. The two girls play together beautifully, and the two boys are becoming fast friends. In another 6-12 months when Ernie is less of a baby, I’m confident the boys will be as close as the girls are. And I imagine our lives will be easier having two pairs, rather than an odd number with 2 girls and 1 boy.
    Anyway, this was an extremely long reply, but I wanted to share my journey 🙂
    Love your baby names too: My picks for an imagined new baby are Autumn or Richard (Richie).
    Fern P recently posted…The Week From HellMy Profile

    • May 8, 2016 / 1:33 am

      P.S. I also had my first at age 24! Loved being a young(ish) mum.
      Fern P recently posted…The Week From HellMy Profile

  8. Ruth
    May 16, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    Love this!!!! This is exactly how I feel, my head tells me I don’t want anymore babies but my heart would love hundreds more!!!!

  9. May 17, 2016 / 10:05 am

    I wrote a similar post a year or so ago and I truly thought enough was enough at 2. Yet here I am with another one on the way. I think I am done at 3 though as honestly I don’t think I could last another pregnancy. Now if I could just have a surrogate…… haha! xx
    Katy (What Katy Said) recently posted…Just Me and My GirlsMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge